Minerva Teli

Job title: 
GP Intern - WA Department of Ecology

Minerva Teli is a Ph.D. student in the Environmental Engineering program at UC Berkeley. She studies materials for water treatment under Prof. Baoxia Mi and holds an undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Northeastern University. She is interested in exploring applications of green chemistry in water treatment systems. Minerva is working with the Washington State Department of Ecology to identify and assess food packaging products in the US market that use potentially safer alternatives to PFAS. 

Taking Berkeley’s Greener Solutions course was a great way to explore my interest in green chemistry and get an idea of how it applies in a practical setting. The interdisciplinary feature of the groups allowed us to approach the project from many angles while making great connections along the way. I look forward to applying many of the concepts I learned during the course to my Ph.D. research. 

As a part of the Greener Solutions course, my group was tasked with finding promising alternatives to current food packaging materials containing PFAS and PFOA. Our search enveloped both systematic changes and scientific improvements to base materials and coatings. While we identified promising alternatives at the research stage, we had limited access to the formulation of current market products. Through my internship with the Washington State Department of Ecology, I look forward to working with stakeholders to identify and evaluate viable alternatives that currently exist on the market. This will allow for a better transition from PFAS containing products to safer alternatives.